I’m sorry I’ve been quiet for a few months. To be honest, this is a hard letter to write. It feels vulnerable and scary and reckless. I stopped writing to you because I thought I had found you. I thought I knew your name and face and story. I didn’t want to write to you when I thought I knew all these things. It felt awkward and presumptuous. Because I thought our story had finally begun, I wanted to tell you the things I was thinking instead of writing them.
But my love, I got it all wrong.
I know we will each get it wrong so many times before we get it right. The one time it needs to be right, we’ll get it right. But getting it wrong can hurt so badly.
I made memories with this man. We left our footprints all over the city and pieces of our hearts in secret places. I started to memorize the way his hand felt in mine. I knew his favorite color and the songs that made his face light up. He told me his hopes and fears. I let him break down my walls.
I thought he was you.
I wanted him to be you.
I treated him like he was you.
But you know what I am grateful for? I got it wrong with him and not you.
I was so afraid to lose him, lose the love I desired for so long, that I think I tried to fit an oval shape in a round hole. It wasn’t quite different enough to be frustrating, but it was just different enough to not fit. I didn’t see it at the time. I didn’t know he was an oval when I needed a circle. I thought the disconnect and arguments, slightly parallel but ultimately perpendicular paths, and off-handed comments were all part of choosing to love. I thought they were the hard parts you have to work through to get to the best parts. And maybe they could have been. Maybe in a different world he was you. But in this world he chose not to be.
So love, I have to confess that I let my priorities get out of order. I let myself begin to chase him more than Papa. I let myself put my hopes and dreams in his hand, only to reveal the fullness of my idolatry when things began to end. I wanted Papa’s best for him to be what Papa’s best for me is. I wanted our dreams and desires to be the same.
I was not always the woman I hope to be.
I won’t own what is his to own but I will own what is mine.
But here’s the hope in all of this. I saw it first hand a few days ago when I watched two beloved friends commit their lives together in front of their family and community. I heard their vows to Papa and each other. I heard them say they will always put Him first and each other second. Tears rolled down my face at the holiness of this moment. Tears rolled down my face in longing for the things I hoped this other relationship had for me. Tears rolled down my face for the hope He gave me that you will one day make a similar promise. To love Papa first and us second.
I wish I didn’t have any wrongs, and I wish you didn’t either but I am not sorry for the process sharpening me into the woman you deserve.
The thing I am certain of in all of this though, is how beautiful Papa’s redemption of our stories will be. Sure, we’ll both have a suitcase or two of the past. You’ll have names and I will too. But I believe Papa will take those names and give us new names. Give us the names of each other. The last names we’ll ever have to know. The old will be gone and the new will come.
My love, I got it all wrong…. with the wrong one. But with you, I will get it right. By His grace, we’ll both get it right.
until then, I’ll be here.